2013 Vuelta – Stage 18 – Trying to Keep Up


One of the final head to head battles of the Vuelta between the GC favorites on the super steep slopes of the Cordillera Cantabrica. Today was Peña Cabagra, a short but very punchy climb just South of the seaside town of Santandar. The climb is only 6km, but it begins with a leg burning 10% and only with ramps of up to 20% it is harsh and steep and certainly would make for time gaps in the GC.

The break had a massive advantage today and when Vasil Kiyrienka (SKY) attacked the group and went solo, he built up a lead of over 1:30 on the break and over 6 minutes on the peloton. Behind, Team Movistar was controlling the pace the majority of the day, but heading into the final hard left tp the base of Peña Cabagra, they were pushed from the front by a number of teams battling for the front, mostly dominated by Team Radioshack keeping Chris Horner in a good spot.

As Kiryienka ahead was soloing his way to the win, it wasn’t until 3 km remaining that Dani Moreno, Joaquim Rodriguez and Alejandro Valverde attacked the front. Valverde blew as Nibali and Horner rode by in pursuit, and a group of Horner, Nibali and Rodriguez was formed. The three rode together for mere seconds as Rodriguez couldn’t hold Horner’s pace, and then Nibali blew as Horner upped the pace en route to setting the fastest ascent of Peña Cabagra, at an unoffical 16’49. (J-Rod did 17’01” in 2010, Froome 17’15” in 2011).

As Horner blitzed the mountain, behind, Alejandro Valverde had found his rhythm closing in on the favorites and passing Nibali in the final 100m finishing just behind Joaquim Rodriguez as the three younger riders were desperately trying to keep up to the old guy who’s making the climbs look easy.

2013 Vuelta Stage 18 Top Five
1. Vasil Kiryienka (SKY)________4h44’28″
2. Chris Anker Sorenson (TST)___+28″
3. Adam Hansen (LOT)____________+1’18”
4. Martin Kohler (GRS)__________+1’34”
5. Egoi Martinez (EUS)__________+1’42”

Overall Classification after 18 stages
1. Vincenzo Nibali (AST)_______73h39’35″
2. Chris Horner (RLT)_________+3″
3. Alejandro Valverde (MOV)____+1’09″
4. Joaquim Rodriguez (KAT)____+2’24″
5. Nicolas Roche (TST)________+3’43″
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (ALM)____+5’44″
7. Thibault Pinot (FDJ)_________+6’14″
8. Leopold Konig (NET)________+6’35″
9. Samuel Sanchez (EUS)______+7’51″
10. Tanel Kangert (AST)________+11’10″
11. Daniel Moreno (KAT)________+11’15″
12. Michele Scarponi (LAM)_____+12’14″
13. Jose Herrada (MOV)________+12’30″
14. David Arroyo (CJR)________+13’48″
15. Igor Anton (EUS)__________+16’46″
16. Dominik Nerz (BMC)________+18’28″
17. Robert Kiserlovski (RLT)____+19’37″
18. Chris Anker Sorensen (TST)_+20’21″
19. Eros Capecchi (MOV)________+23’26″
20. Andre Cardoso (CJR)________+23’55″


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